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14 Amazing Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds!

A bowl of pumpkin seeds
Written by Dr Prachi Garg
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Pumpkin seeds are edible seeds of pumpkin fruit. These flat and white seeds are a ‘Powerhouse of Nutrition’. They are somewhat oval in shape and after removing the outer white cover, light greenish seeds are obtained.

They are sweet and nutty in taste. They are popularly known as ‘Pepitas’ in America.

Nutritional Value of Pumpkin Seeds:

  • Pumpkin seeds are laden with nutrients, calories, fats, proteins and fibre. 100 grams of seeds provide 574 calories of energy, 49 grams of fat, 6.6 grams fibre and 30 grams of protein
  • Fats present are mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are good for health
  • Vitamins like vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K are present in pumpkin seeds in different quantities
  • Pumpkin seeds also contain minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc etc

Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds:

  • Powerful Antioxidant:

Pumpkin seeds have great antioxidant potential due to the presence of Vitamin E and carotenoids. [1]

These antioxidants help in reducing inflammation and also protect our body from damage caused by free radicals. Thus, they provide us with protection from innumerable diseases.

  • Cardio-protective:

Pumpkin seeds are very good for the health of our heart. Antioxidants in them protect our heart from various disorders. [2]

Magnesium in pumpkin seeds helps to lower our blood pressure. [3] Magnesium also lowers bad cholesterol (LDL ) levels and triglycerides. [4] This reduces the risk of heart diseases.

Fibre present in pumpkin seeds also reduces cholesterol levels, thus protecting our heart.

  • Protects from Cancers:

Consuming Pumpkin seeds in good amount reduces the risk of gastric, breast and colorectal cancers. [5] This is due to the presence of powerful antioxidants in these seeds.

Carotenoids in pumpkin seeds also prevented prostate cancer. [6]

  • Helps in Management of Diabetes:

Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps to lower blood sugar levels which is beneficial for people with diabetes dellitus.

Thus, pumpkin seeds prove to be useful in the management of diabetes. [7]

Also Read: 10 Best for Diabetes Supported by Research

  • Immunity Booster:

Pumpkin seeds are good for our immune system due to the presence of vitamin E and zinc.

Vitamin E enhances immune responses and protects against several infectious diseases. [8] It is also a powerful antioxidant and prevents free radicals from damaging healthy cells in our body.

Zinc protects our body from inflammation, allergies and invading pathogens, thus preventing infections and increasing overall immunity. [9]

Pumpkin seeds exhibit antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral properties.

Also Read: 7 Simple Ways to Boost Immunity

  • Improves Quality of Sleep:

Amino acid tryptophan present in pumpkin seeds is good for sleep. It is a precursor to serotonin and melatonin.

Both serotonin and melatonin help to induce sleep. [10] [11]

Read More: 6 Health Benefits of Sleep for Mind & Body

  • Good for Weight Loss:

Pumpkin seeds are rich in proteins and fibre. They make us feel full for a long time, reduce our food intake and finally reduce the number of calories consumed. This helps in reduction of weight.

  • Good for Strong Bones:

Pumpkin seeds are rich in Magnesium. Magnesium is good for growth and strength of bones.  It has been observed that people with ample amounts of Magnesium in their diet tend to have a higher density of minerals in their bones. This helps to avoid risks like bone fractures and osteoporosis. Low levels of magnesium have also been linked to increased inflammation. Another side effect of Magnesium deficiency is that Calcium levels in the blood also get low. Every 100 grams of pumpkin seeds contains up to 262 mg of Magnesium. This amount is enough to cover 65% of your daily Magnesium requirement! 

It also helps to prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. [12]

Also Read: How to Keep Bones & Joints Healthy?

  • Good for Prostate Health:

Consumption of pumpkin seeds improves the symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia ( BPH ). [13]

Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc. Zinc reduces the chances of prostate cancer. There is also limited data that suggests Pumpkin Seed oil may help to treat and prevent urinary diseases/disorders. This benefit needs to be studied further, however, and it was not tested using the seeds but the oil extracted from it. 

  • Improves the Quality of Sperm:

Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc.

Zinc improves fertility in men. It increases the levels of testosterone and also the quality and quantity of sperms. [14]

  • Good for Pregnancy:

Pumpkin seeds contain a good amount of zinc.

Zinc boosts immunity and helps in healthy growth of the baby. It is beneficial to consume zinc-rich foods in pregnancy. [15]

  • Reduces Depression and Anxiety:

Magnesium in pumpkin seeds helps to reduce stress and anxiety. [16]

It also calms our mind.

Also Read: 15 Ways to Naturally Treat Depression

  • Good for our Hair:

Consuming pumpkin seeds makes our hair strong. It also makes our hair silky and shiny.

  • Good for our Skin:

Pumpkin seeds make our skin soft and wrinkle-free. It also prevents infections and keeps our skin acne-free.

Read More: 10 Foods Good For Skin

Side Effects of consuming Pumpkin Seeds:

  1. Eating pumpkin seeds in excess can cause stomach ache, flatulence, bloating and constipation.
  2. Since pumpkin seeds are loaded with calories, eating them in excess can lead to weight gain.
  3. Pumpkin seeds help to lower blood sugar levels. These seeds should be consumed in moderation by diabetics on medication and also people suffering from hypoglycemia. Read more about different types of blood sugar levels

Can You Experience an Allergic Reaction To Pumpkin Seeds?

Pumpkin seeds are not thought to be highly allergenic, but in rare cases, you may experience an allergy. People allergic to pumpkin seeds may show symptoms like headaches, itching, rashes, difficulty in breathing etc. If you are worried about having an allergy to Pumpkin seeds, speak with your doctor first before trying it out, especially if you have never eaten them before.

Also Read: 8 Health Benefits of Flax Seeds

How to consume pumpkin seeds?

Best way to use Pumpkin seeds is to roast them and have them as a snack.

We also get pumpkin seeds oil and pumpkin seed butter in the market. 

These seeds can also be added to or sprinkled on:

  • Smoothies
  • Yoghurt
  • Fruit
  • Salads
  • Soups
  • Cereals
  • Bread
  • Cakes
  • Energy bars
  • Stir-fries etc

Also Read: Health Benefits & Uses of Sabja Seeds

About the author

Dr Prachi Garg

A Gold Medallist Physiotherapist from the Maharashtra University
of Health Sciences (MUHS), and also a qualified Dietician who later
went on to establish the “Mera Health Genie Wellness, India” in 2009
with a vision to offer the best remedies possible through the medium
of alternative medicines.
Effectively used Physiotherapy, Diet and Nutrition, Yoga, and
Acupressure to help numerous people recover from an injury or
manage a long term problem, achieving fitness goals, managing
weight and well being.

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